“For any of you out there who do in fact feel hopeless or alone, you are unconditionally loved for the uniqueness that is you…”
Jessica Chastain has won her first Oscar! The actress picked up the Best Actress award at the at the 2022 Academy Awards on Sunday evening for her starring role in The Eyes of Tammy Faye. Chastain previously picked up the same honour at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and then a Critics Choice Awards earlier this year.
This was Chastain‘s third time at the Oscars, after previously being nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 2012 for The Help, and Best Actress again in 2013 for Zero Dark Thirty.
In her acceptance speech, Chastain shared that she was inspired by Tammy Faye’s “radical acts of love” and by “her compassion,” adding, “I see it as a guiding principle that leads up forward.” She also paid tribute to the LGBTQ+ community and called out “discriminatory and bigoted legislation,” a nod to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Chastain shared that the goal of the bigoted legislation that is sweeping the United States is ultimately meant to further divide us.
“We’re faced with discriminatory and bigoted legislation that is sweeping our country with the only goal of further dividing us. There’s violence and hate crimes being perpetuated on innocent civilians all over the world. And in times like this, I think of Tammy and I’m inspired by her radical acts of love,” Chastain said in her speech. “We’ve talked about love a lot. And I’m inspired by her compassion, and I see it as a guiding principle that leads us forward. And it connects us all in the desire that we want to be accepted for who we are, accepted for who we love, and to live a life without the fear of violence or terror. And for any of you out there who do in fact feel hopeless or alone, I just not you to know you are unconditionally loved for the uniqueness that is you.”
Based on the 2000 documentary of the same name, the movie charts Tammy Faye’s marriage to Jim Bakker (Garfield) as the two evolve from traveling preachers to national television stars under the umbrella of Jerry Falwell (Vincent D’Onofrio). Tammy Faye struggles to reconcile Falwell’s political conservatism with her support for the LBGTQ community amid the burgeoning AIDS crisis, while her career is ultimately undone by Bakker’s infidelities and conviction for fraud.